Of the merits of legalizing corruption in our banana republic

April 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

For the last couple of years, every time a big corruption scandal hits mainstream news, I spend days-on-end seething. In recent times, as I age, I have realized that this rage is not good for my health at all; I love my free-spirited life so much to die because of some accident-of-birth thief!

From junk helicopters (Saleh and crew), to 1 dollar UCB (Saleh), to Tristar (‘investor’), to valley-dams (Kazibwe) to Global Fund (Muhwezi, Mukula and crew), to NSSF -Temangalo (Mbabazi, Jamwa, Nzeyi and crew), and now to CHOGM2007 (Bukenya, Kutesa, Hope Mwesigye and crew). My friends, am sure 2011 will not end before another big one is brought to light. I won’t say what the sums of these financial scum monoliths could do; that’s in plain sight for all to see.

I keep wondering where all these monies are stashed. At the height of Gen. Muhwezi’s woes, we were told of lavish homes in Jo’burg as cake-icing to the uncountable-bedroom mansion at Kololo; he even invited Kool-and-the-Gang, his favorite band to jam for HIV/AIDS, wow! Fat-cat Jamwa, we were told, had a 1 billion shilling mansion at Kololo. There are slick ones; the likes of Mbabazi whose cash-flows are under the radar. What is undoubtedly clear is that the stolen public money is part banked/invested abroad and a reasonable chunk stays within our borders!

Despite that no new major government hospital has been built in recent years, Kampala is sprouting with new high-rise buildings of late amidst a shoddy spate of prime land bonanza within the city. My bet is that these buildings belong to the honorable thieves; talk of ‘investor’ is swine crap. New bungalows are cropping up on every hill of Kampala. Working class middle-age and young Ugandans are voraciously  buying land within the precincts of  Kampala to build their nests. Imports of cheap Japanese cars are climbing but they are yet to catch up the peak of the true demand for thousand-dollar FOB cars. These are just the visible indicators of somewhat genuine pursuit and attainment of happiness by Ugandans lucky enough to have jobs.  You see, it seems corruption has a trickledown effect. For instance, when Dr. Kazibwe misappropriates money meant for water dams for cattle keepers, the construction industry gains (ref. Baskon hostel); student housing is improved and some below-minimum wage jobs are created!  The losers in this equation are the official designated beneficiaries of such monies, of who a large section are the rural folks; aka NRM bulk electorate. The pattern of theft and reinvestment is consistent, whoever the thief may be. So the Ugandan economy is growing and dying in the towns and villages respectively.

When you look at it from this angle, you come to see that we somewhat have ‘constructive’ corruption. The true potential of this constructive corruption is unknown for ethical reasons. But close your eyes and picture for a minute how much cash we could have flowing in the veins of the Ugandan economy if the thieves were bold enough and free to invest their bounties??? More companies would mushroom and with it comes more opportunity for below minimum wage job opportunities! No kidding here! To many Ugandans who’ve never seen a 50K note, a below minimum wage job kicks the ass of being jobless and wallowing in some unknown Ugandan town.

So what/should we do to get this black-cash into the economy (where it was meant to be in the first place)??? Our 300 plus MPs should be asked to get a law that legalizes corruption in Uganda. Given that the bulk the thieves are NRM MPs, bulldozing such an inglorious law into reality should not be a hassle. With this law in place, these accident of birth thieves will freely invest their loot, therefore keeping the money in the economy. Kampala and Uganda will stagger into a future of a semblance of development (some genuinely good by the way). We will save on waste of public money through hopeless commissions of inquiry.  Ordinary Ugandans will be saved from the dangers of too much expectation, and I certainly will have less press reports to seethe about.

Thank you fellow citizens.

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